The Effects of a Reduced Pressure Scenario on the Columbus APM Environmental Control System
Manned Space Systems are usually designed to support the crew atmospheric conditions equivalent to those at sea level. In phases with frequent Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA), a reduced pressure environment is preferable to facilitate the EVA suit prebreathing procedures. The Columbus Attached Pressurised Module (APM) will face both pressure scenarios during its life. Operation at different pressure levels primarily affects the performance of the Environmental Control System (ECS) of the pressurised elements. A lower air density results in reduced heat exchange, adversely affecting both the crew comfort and the electronics air cooling. This paper reports the results of a study performed to identify the constraints and the numerous potential problem areas related to APM operations at reduced pressure. Effects of the reduced pressure on the environmental parameters have been investigated.